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EC site forms part of innovative hybrid energy project

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation EC site forms part of innovative hybrid energy project

TO prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, the chair of the COP28 climate summit, in collaboration with two organisations dedicated to renewable energy, is urging UN member states to triple their renewable energy output by 2030. According to a joint report by the United Arab Emirates’ COP28 presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency- IRENA as well as the Global Renewables Alliance, it is necessary for renewable energy capacity to go beyond 11,000 GW by 2030.

Currently, coal, oil, gas, nuclear power, hydropower, and renewable energy sources are the most widely used energy sources in South Africa and some of these energy sources pose an environmental risk and contribute to climate change and global warming.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) continues to support the development and funding of different technologies, energy generation, transmission, and as a leading financier of renewable energy, the Bank is committed to supporting the just energy transition in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Umoyilanga Hybrid Project which will provide 75 MW of net dispatchable capacity officially reached financial close on November 28, 2023 and is set to start commercial operation in March 2025. The innovative project combines solar, wind and battery storage technologies to offer dispatchable and reliable power to the national electrical grid. The project will operate as a virtual power plant, combining generation from two sites which are 900 km apart, namely Avondale in the Northern Cape, with 115 MW of solar PV and 30 MW of battery storage, and Dassiesridge in the Eastern Cape, with 63 MW of wind and 45 MW of battery storage.

Mpho Mokwele group executive transacting at DBSA said the Umoyilanga Hybrid Project is a landmark transaction where a combination of hybrid technologies have been integrated to provide dispatchable energy and signifies the role that a DFI can play in transforming the landscape of the energy sector in South Africa.

The project will provide approximately 890 job opportunities during construction (measured in job years); during this period, more than 40% of the capital expenditure will be used to procure local goods and services. Over the 20-year operational period, 1% of revenue will be dedicated to local communities through socioeconomic initiatives. The commitments align with the DBSA’s stance on making a positive impact on the lives of people in Southern Africa by enabling infrastructure investment as a lever to stimulate economic growth and social development.

The DBSA is the sole development finance institution that provided funding to the project alongside Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank.

The DBSA’s work in the energy sector helps strengthen the private sector’s role in driving clean energy solutions to provide renewable power while at the same time reducing greenhouse gases, which are detrimental to the environment.

The project, along with other hybrid projects, was named as a preferred bidder under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) in March 2021. The RMIPPPP has been designed by the mineral resources and energy department to procure 2000 MW of new generation capacity from a range of energy source technologies.

Also read more on the Fish River hydropower project.

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